TIME magazine believes that the Coronavirus may have caused the biggest ‘work from home experiment’ that the world has ever seen. As many companies have closed their offices, many people are experimenting remote working. Navigating this new situation means coping with many challenges, both logistic and human.
A lot of questions are now being asked: Will productivity decrease? Will collaboration continue as smoothly as before? Will people feel disconnected?
Creating and nurturing connections can still be possible, as long as we allow ourselves the opportunity to interact and share experiences in new ways.
So, how exactly do we maintain a sense of teamwork? We will now seek to answer this pressing question:
In order to keep a positive team dynamic and ensure people do not feel isolated, we need to stay engaged. How do we foster collaboration? Technology comes to the rescue!
Ensure high quality internal systems that allow appointment scheduling, instant messaging, conference calls, etc. Employees need proper tools to continue doing their job.
Video conferencing and online communication tools are essential in order to keep the conversation going and enjoy that precious “eye-contact”. Remember to look at the camera to make people feel connected. If you look at the people in the screen, you are practically looking away.
Create and follow new routines
As a company, it’s important to establish a good routine on how to share information on digital platforms, set up regular meetings for news and feedback sharing, celebrate individual / group achievements, encourage transparency and inclusion, set up coffee social moments where you relax and just catch up.
Working remotely can pave the way to a more relaxed environment, where work and personal life are balanced or, on the contrary, create stress and burnout very quickly. Without that routine of going into work every day, many may feel lost and unable to find motivation. Now is the time to embrace flexibility and create new rituals.
Team culture – a call for empathy and trust
As a company, it’s important to show vulnerability and not just strength, listen more and maintain a positive mindset where you trust and encourage people across the company. Be available and approachable – this could be a really good start to develop new ways of creating a positive team culture not only during the Coronavirus crisis, but also after that.
Keep a close eye on your team and their morale. People’s experience of work and their happiness is critical to their business growth. Some may feel worse than others. Find a balance in communication to avoid being perceived as too intrusive. This turns out to also be a time for innovation and experimentation for everyone. What matters is to remember and be reminded that “We’re all in this together”.
We must also accept that the way we work is changing when simultaneously managing work tasks and family responsibilities. And so is productivity. Let’s measure progress and pay attention to the end result.
Keep an open mind
Every situation is a learning experience and prepares the way for future practice. Although working from home is now a necessity, this may just bring some unexpected benefits and open up new perspectives and opportunities.